Werewolf Gangs Fight Over Magic Wolfboy: ‘Skinwalkers’ (2006) Movie Review

There are quite a few horror movies out there that deal with ancient prophecies and many end up looking corny as hell as a result. Does James Isaac’s Skinwalkers fall under this curse?

To begin with, Skinwalkers has an interesting premise. There are two different sects of werewolves: (1) those who view lycanthropy as a curse wish to have it removed, and (2) those who think it kicks ass to be a werewolf. If that’s not enough, the wolf-afflicted people are saddled with a prophecy. Specifically, it’s said that a 13-year-old boy can remove the curse. His name happens to be Tim, and he’s a scrappy young lad with a good heart – who would have guessed? Nevertheless, the bad werewolves wish to have little Timmy killed before the next full moon, and have no problem with killing normal people in the process.

As one might expect, Skinwalkers has a number of action sequences as the wolves battle it out, as well as several werewolf transformation scenes. The scenes were done reasonably well, even if CGI was relied on a bit too much – as is the craze nowadays. I particularly liked an early scene where Tim’s grandmother (Barbara Gordon) defended him from the wicked wolves. It’s not every day you see an old lady playing a bad-ass convincingly, but she pulled it off and I found myself rooting for her.

She needn’t be in werewolf mode to get her point across.

I also should mention that Elias Koteas plays a prominent character in this movie. Who is he? Any Ninja Turtle fan knows he played Casey Jones in the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie. Maybe I’m a bit biased because of that, but it’s information that didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the movie… although honestly, an irrational part of my brain expected Raphael to show up and scream “DAAAAAMN!” after any key character deaths.

Elias Koteas is really the best actor of the bunch, as his acting makes his character seem genuine. As in the TMNT role, he comes across as just an ordinary guy in some extraordinary circumstances. Many of the other actors seem more like action star wannabes. While they might successfully look cool and whatever, their performances definitely border on cliché. In contrast, a normal guy just seems like a normal guy, and the circumstances of the story bring the character to life. More actors should be that way, at least a little more often.

Elias Koteas as Jonas Talbot

I should also mention that this movie is not heavy on plot. Still, it’s not a standard action movie, either. There are some classic werewolf elements, like chaining up those with the curse to prevent them from harming people. Still, there were moments when the characters made questionable decisions — such as not keeping a low profile, even though the fate of the human race depended on it.

On that note, I also wonder why other people weren’t more prevalent in the story. It’s hard to believe that werewolf attacks wouldn’t have more people on edge. One would think the National Guard (or some fully human equivalent) would be around and making an attempt to cull the werewolf population. Instead, the few normal characters here seem to be blissfully unaware of werewolves – until it’s too late, of course.

Yep, it’s a werewolf. He’s angry and he’ll bite ya’.

Final Thoughts

Skinwalkers didn’t win any Oscars and the characters weren’t particularly memorable. Still, it’s a decent enough action-horror flick if you’re not too picky. I’d summarize it as a bit like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, only it features werewolves instead of cyborgs, and prophecies instead of time travel.

Ar-ar-aroo, I suppose.

About wadewainio

Wade is a wannabe artist and musician (operating under the moniker Grandpa Helicopter), and an occasional radio DJ for WMTU 91.9 FM Houghton. He is an occasional writer for Undead Walking, and also makes up various blogs of his own. He even has a few books in the works. Then again, doesn't everyone?

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